Tips on Narrative Essay Writing

Introduction

It is not uncommon for college tutors to ask students to produce a narrative essay. Such narrative papers are usually closely aligned with the subject and purpose of the course itself. Oftentimes, supervisors ask students to share their perceptions of the course and the way the knowledge they have gained through it has changed their attitudes to the world. Also, a student may be asked to write about some crucially important event and the way it has changed his or her life. Thus, a good narrative essay will necessarily comprise two essential components. First, it is a literal description of the event. Second, it is an analysis of its impacts on the student.

Narrative essays represent a tough challenge for many students. However, they may become a gateway to the most remarkable academic achievements. It can be an emotional story, or it can be simply a step-by-step report of what happened and how it changed the world. No matter which type of narrative essay you are going to write, you will have to follow the requirements provided by your professor step by step. Do not hesitate to include personal experiences. Familiarize your readers with your topic, subject, and its relevance to your future.

Writing a Strong Narrative

In most cases, students are asked to write coherent narratives during their first year in college. Also, quite often, such narrative essays are devoted to the basic skills and knowledge the student had while entering the course and the extent, to which that very course changed their perceptions of the reality. For example, why not discuss the importance of engaging in mathematics courses to gain a better understanding of the key economic and social processes? In any case, even the simplest narrative essay can become a good foundation for developing a larger academic work such as dissertation or thesis. Just do not hesitate to use your outstanding narrative essay as a guide to advanced academic writing.

Brainstorming Ideas

When you are ready to start, think of what kind of narrative essay you are going to write. You will have to remember the brightest experiences and events you have faced in your life. Make sure that these events and experiences are directly related to the course content. For example, if you are in a sociology class, choose those experiences, which uncover the complexity of the social processes and their implications for social work. Do not hesitate to describe and evaluate negative experiences. Just tell your reader the lessons they have to learn from them. At the same time, be thorough, balanced, and reserved in your choices. You do not need to talk on some intimate topic. You also do not want to choose a topic that cannot be related to your course content. Make sure that the topic of your choice is interesting to you. You should be passionate about every word you write in your descriptive paper.

Writing a Draft of Your Work

When you have a clear topic and outline, it is the right time to start writing a draft of your paper. You will have to consider the event you are describing from several different perspectives. Do not ignore the importance of details. It is a narrative paper, so make it rich in fascinating details. Do not limit your paper to a simple list of the events that happened to you. It will sound boring. Rather, attract and involve your reader. Make your audience feel as if they have been direct participants of the processes described in your paper. 

Consider some of the following things:

  • What was the context and environment, when the event took place?
  • How did the surrounding look?
  • Can you remember any peculiar smells there?
  • What was the weather?
  • Was there anything unusual about the event?
  • Who was affected by the event?
  • Who was primarily involved in the event you are describing?
  • What did they say or do?
  • Can you remember your feelings?
  • What were your emotions at the time?
  • What did you feel?
  • How did your feelings influence your initial reaction to the event?

Structuring Your Paper

Now that you know what you are going to narrate, it is time to develop a cohesive structure for your paper. You can choose among multiple structural approaches to present your findings. For instance, you can structure your paper chronologically. Or you can follow the event, based on how your feelings changed and evolved.

To make it better and more fascinating for your reader, you may begin with the description of the event in its culmination. Surprise your reader, but do not include any shocking details. If you feel that the culmination of the event carries the most significant meaning for your narration, do not sacrifice its value. Use it and enjoy the result. Of course, you can choose any other structures and models for your narrative essay. Just do not be afraid of experimenting with your work.

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

Narrative essays are like many other essays in the sense that they should be proofread and revised thoroughly, before they are submitted for grading. Consider some of the following questions, as you are revising your draft:

  • Is everything you are describing related to the same event?
  • Do you justify the significance of your narration for the reader?
  • Do you enrich your narrative essay with important and relevant details?
  • Do you include the elements of emotional revelation?
  • Do you evaluate the impacts of the event on your life?
  • Does your paper flow smoothly and logically?
  • Are there any grammatical errors or misspellings in your paper?

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